Australian soft drinks group, Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd, is expected to post profit growth of 10% for the first six months of 2002. The company is forecast to post net profits on Friday in the region of A$85m to A$86m ($45m to $45.5m).

Although this would be 21% down from the A$107.5m in the corresponding period last year, it is 10% up on A$77.3m, the comparable figure from last year based on continuing activities. The company is halfway through its first full year without its Philippine operations which were sold in April 2001.

Analysts have said that Amatil is performing in line with forecasts. Strong earnings are predicted from the developing South Korean market while a more modest earnings rise is forecast from Australia which accounted for around 70% of the company's earnings in 2001. Last month, Amatil said its net profit forecast for 2002 was at the upper end of its three-year target of 10% to 15% profit growth per year.